The girl moaned out some half intelligible reply, that she couldnot tell; and seemed, from the smothered noise that escaped her,to be crying.。， Mr. Bumble's conduct on being left to himself, was ratherinexplicable. He opened the closet, counted the teaspoons,weighed the sugar-tongs, closely inspected a silver milk-pot toascertain that it was of the genuine metal, and, having satisfiedhis curiosity on these points, put on his cocked hat corner-wise,and danced with much gravity four distinct times round the table.
'It's no fault of mine if he is!' interposed the other man, witha look of terror, and clasping the Jew's arm with tremblinghands. 'Mind that. Fagin! I had no hand in it. Anything buthis death, I told you from the first. I won't shed blood; it'salways found out, and haunts a man besides. If they shot himdead, I was not the cause; do you hear me? Fire this infernalden! What's that?'。，
'Perhaps I was,' rejoined Tom, looking round; 'and if I was,what's to laugh at, in that; eh, Fagin?'。， 'Bill had him on his back, and scudded like the wind. We stoppedto take him between us; his head hung down, and he was cold.They were close upon our heels; every man for himself, and eachfrom the gallows! We parted company, and left the youngsterlying in a ditch. Alive or dead, that's all I know about him.'
They conversed for some time in whispers. Though nothing of theconversation was distinguishable beyond a few disjointed wordshere and there, a listener might easily have perceived that Faginappeared to be defending himself against some remarks of thestranger; and that the latter was in a state of considerableirritation. They might have been talking, thus, for a quarter ofan hour or more, when Monks--by which name the Jew had designatedthe strange man several times in the course of theircolloquy--said, raising his voice a little,。， As they passed Sunbury Church, the clock struck seven. There wasa light in the ferry-house window opposite: which streamedacross the road, and threw into more sombre shadow a darkyew-tree with graves beneath it. There was a dull sound offalling water not far off; and the leaves of the old tree stirredgently in the night wind. It seemed like quiet music for therepose of the dead.
The matron expressed her entire concurrence in this intelligiblesimile; and the beadle went on.。， With these words, he took a thick stick from Barney's hands, who,having delivered another to Toby, busied himself in fastening onOliver's cape.
The man went to the door, and returned to announce that all wasquiet. The two robbers issued forth with Oliver between them.Barney, having made all fast, rolled himself up as before, andwas soon asleep again.。，
。， The old man had gained the street corner, before he began torecover the effect of Toby Crackit's intelligence. He hadrelaxed nothing of his unusual speed; but was still pressingonward, in the same wild and disordered manner, when the suddendashing past of a carriage: and a boisterous cry from the footpassengers, who saw his danger: drove him back upon thepavement. Avoiding, as much as was possible, all the mainstreets, and skulking only through the by-ways and alleys, he atlength emerged on Snow Hill. Here he walked even faster thanbefore; nor did he linger until he had again turned into a court;when, as if conscious that he was now in his proper element, hefell into his usual shuffling pace, and seemed to breathe morefreely.
'They had better not!' said Mr. Bumble, clenching his fist. 'Letme see any man, porochial or extra-porochial, as would presume todo it; and I can tell him that he wouldn't do it a second time!'。， Fagin looked as if he could have willingly excused himself fromtaking home a visitor at that unseasonable hour; and, indeed,muttered something about having no fire; but his companionrepeating his request in a peremptory manner, he unlocked thedoor, and requested him to close it softly, while he got a light.